Schizophrenia Lydia Lowe
What is Schizophrenia? • Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects the way someone thinks, behaves, and feels. It makes it more difficult for people to express emotions appropriately. It is sometimes referred to as paranoid personality disorder. • Schizophrenia affects everybody differently. Some may show different symptoms than others. There are also different ways of getting this disorder. Usually it is related to the environment of the affected person, but it can also be related to genetics. • The symptoms of this disorder usually begin to appear between the ages of 15 and 35. The average age for men is 25, and the average for woman is 30.
How Is This Related To Genetics? • Schizophrenia relates to genetics in that the closer you are related to the affected family member, the higher risk you have of getting it. • This disorder has also been traced to a gene called 5-TTH. It is sometimes referred to as the “shy gene”. In adults, this is related to high anxiety in the brains fear center. • Some places do offer genetic counseling for people suffering from Schizophrenia. • Schizophrenia can also be genetically related to Bipolar Disorder.
Symptoms • Social Withdrawal • Depression • Intense Anxiety • Hearing Voices • Delusions • Hallucinations • Lack of Interest • Difficulties Processing Information • Uncontrolled Emotions • Suspicion
Is This Disorder Deadly? This disorder doesn’t directly kill you, but the way it affects you can. Since Schizophrenia is closely related to depression, this makes the suicide rate among Schizophrenics high. About 10% of Schizophrenics commit suicide. Studies show that serious mental diseases can shorten your lifespan as much as 14 years.
Can It Be Cured? Can You Be Tested For This Disorder? Schizophrenia can be tested my an MRI scan of the brain. One news testing option that is currently being developed is blood testing. Schizophrenia cannot be cured. There is medicine available to help stabilize some of the symptoms. Both psychotherapy and medication are usually needed to get long-term results.
Other Facts • African Americans are 1.5 times more likely to develop Schizophrenia. People that live in the city are twice as likely to develop it than people that live in more rural areas. • Approximately 2.2 million people in the United States suffer from Schizophrenia. This means 1 in every 100 people suffer from it. • Schizophrenia accounts for 40% of long-term hospitalization. • One support group for Schizophrenia is NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). • Schizophrenia literally means “split-mind”.